End of hope; all 32 lives lost at sea

End of hope; all 32 lives lost at sea
ID : N-1052 Date : 2018/01/14 - 13:50

(Persia Digest) - Mohammad Rastad, Director of Iran Ports and Maritime Organization confirmed that all 32 crew members of the tanker “Sanchi” have lost their lives in Chinese waters, and this was the only step taken by Iranian officials in the past eight days.

Persia Digest reported that, on January 6, a Chinese cargo ship collided with an Iranian tanker, causing the Iranian tanker to become engulfed by fire, 32 of its crew missing (30 Iranians and 2 Bangladeshis). In recent days, the bodies of three crew members were found, and today, Rastad announced that 29 other crew members who had probably remained on the tanker after it caught fire have also lost their lives.


♦ 32 crew members lost in tanker collusion with Chinese ship


Over the past eight days, no aid was dispatched by Iran to the tanker. Twelve Iranian commandos who had been sent to China to aid in the rescue operations reached the tanker this morning. However, they were not able to enter the tanker because of the fire and search for the missing; and the tanker eventually sank.

In the first days of the incident, neither the officials nor the IRIB broadcasting placed this accident as their priority. Later, as a result of severe criticisms expressed in social networks, the authorities announced that the rescue of the tanker’s crew was in their priority. Iran’s Minister of Labor was commissioned by the President of Iran to go to China, however, no practical steps were taken in this regard.

Families of the Iranian crew of oil tanker are waiting for news of their loved ones

Also, in the first days of the incident, most related officials and some of the state run media stated that the tanker was insured, or estimated the amount of financial damage incurred as a result of the incident, an issue that has been met with wide criticisms and complaints by the families of Sanchi’s missing crew.

Families of Iranian crew on oil tanker restless

It appears that officials do not intend to learn from these incidents. Last year, in another accident, the Plasco Building in downtown Tehran caught fire and collapsed, causing grief and sorrow for all Iranians. In that incident too, the failure to anticipate, the procrastination and the absence of crises management were evident.

The final point in this tragic incident is the probable failure of Chinese officials to aid the rescue of the tanker and its Iranian crew. Some news have already referred to the failure of the Chinese in providing search and rescue missions to the crew of the tanker. On the day of the accident, Chinese officials saved all 21 crew members of their own cargo ship, however, they did not take any steps in providing help to the oil tanker, an issue that should certainly be investigated and pursued by Iranian officials.    

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